A Psalm for the Frazzled

Every morning, in addition to other devotional and Bible reading, I make sure to soak in a Psalm. It’s the dessert to my reading, a moment to simply bask in what God says. I love the Psalms; they speak with such honesty, with no makeup or masks. It’s a great way to end the time “filling up” before I have to start pouring out.

But not this morning.

This morning was a little nuts. We were hosting a women’s missionary society rally, and we were more than a touch busy. I set the kids up with breakfast and ran nextdoor to practice my devotion at the church. Then change the church sign to welcome the visitors. Then set up the sanctuary. Are the doors unlocked? No? Why in heaven’s name not?!

On a normal Sunday morning, all the wheels are greased. Everything gets done. We have people that take care of “little things” like unlocking doors. This morning none of that happened.

Nothing exploded, no one burst into flames, and the sky didn’t turn to licorice as a result of our controlled chaos. Yet, by a half-hour before rally start time, I was exhausted from all the running around.

And I never read my Psalm.

I went home to double-check on the kids (my Bride had stationed herself in the church kitchen). Yes, they were in fact still breathing. Miracles do happen!

And I took the moment to pick up my Psalm.

Psalm 134
A song of ascents.
1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

God just has that wicked sense of humor. “Yes, I know you’re busy. I know you’re busy serving my people. I know you’re flustered and winded trying to do your best for my chosen nation. but you know what? … you praise, too. You ministered by night last night. Yes, I saw as you got the text about the emergency room visit from one of your members. And I heard your prayers. And answered them. Now, praise. Take a moment in your office, right there, and praise. Look, you can’t even use the excuse it’s a long Psalm. I made sure it was short and to the point, because that’s what you needed this morning. I timed your devotions so this Psalm would land on this day for you. Now, my son… simply take a moment and praise.”

And I did. How could I not? How could I not praise the God who has carried me through the impossible week, through a year of depression, through a congregation on the end of closure, through all my sin… when I bring nothing to the table but failure, and he carries me anyway? Forgives me anyway?

And then he lines up that i get this Psalm on this day?

Yeah. I spent some time right there, eyes closed, in praise of the God who gives such good gifts to servants who don’t deserve them.

Have I mentioned that I love the Psalms?


I’m too busy to be happy at Christmas.

2 Sam 7:8-16


8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

“ ‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ”

How much have you taken on?

  1. What have you accomplished?
  2. What will you accomplish?


Christmas is just one week away! What’s left on your to-do list? Have you gotten all the presents? Every card signed and in the mail? Everyone invited? Are the decorations up? Every light lit and every wreath hung? It’s exhausting, isn’t it? All the stuff we’re supposed to do to get ready for a holiday that proclaims, “Peace on earth!” It’s enough to take the joy out of the season. I’m so busy wondering how I’m going to fit people around the table I can’t fit in time for Christmas wonder! It’s Christmas! But I don’t have the time to be happy. I’m too busy! How much have you taken on? What have you already accomplished? What will you accomplish? (more…)